Grow Your Private Practice by Conquering this Crippling Fear
Marketing your services can be scary and uncomfortable. You might feel pushy, repetitive and just plain scared to promote your services to the outside world.
But marketing overall is not your biggest fear. After all, you can get comfortable with talking about your work, advertising and networking. You can learn marketing tactics or even outsource this part of your business to an external agency. What you can't outsource and learn from "how-to" lessons is your marketing strategy.
You need to dedicate time and thought to analyzing what you want from your practice and then decide who your ideal client is.
And that is the biggest fear. Deciding who your ideal client means - possibly deterring other clients that can help sustain your business. That's why you may find it easier to list everything that you can help with. Every possible service that you can provide. Because if you don't, you might lose a potential patient. Sounds familiar?
I know that, because when I first started my Marketing Consultancy, I wanted to serve all small businesses, offering every marketing service I possible could: design, branding, social media management, copywriting, web, you name it! I thought that the more I offered the more business I would get. The problem was that the business I was getting wasn't what I loved doing and it didn't necessarily lead to more business or referrals.
Only when I started condensing my offering list, did I start rousing interested from potential clients. It also became much easier to talk about my expertise and promote my services. Did I lose any potential clients? Not really. I might have lost some projects that I wasn't particularly interested in to begin with. As I spent more time thinking about what I wanted to do and who I wanted to serve, I defined a niche for myself that excited me and filled me with a sense of purpose. It also became much easier to alter my research and services to provide much more targeted solutions for my clients.
See, when you decide on a niche and define your ideal client, your marketing and promotional efforts become more bold and effective. The likelihood of deterring a client, when they are not sure what you are about and what your expertise are, is much greater than focusing on a specific niche. That doesn't mean that you won't be working with other types of clients at all, it only means that it will become easier for you to attract the right clients for your private practice.
So what do you have to do to conquer your fear of niching? You sit down and look at the numbers.
Calculate how many clients you would need for your practice to generate the kind of profit that you would like to have.
Think about your existing clients and determine how many of them are interesting to you and fit your idea of a "good" client to have.
Look at your marketing expenses now and see how much it costs you to generate new leads. That is of course if you do invest in promotion.
Analyze where your clients are coming from and how long they stay with you.
Think about your plan for the down times of the year.
If you are happy with the results of all these calculations, then you don't need to change much. But if these calculations bring you anxiety and make you wonder about the future of you business, it is probably time to rethink your marketing efforts. Or at least start thinking of an overall marketing strategy. Your fear of niching may be the biggest obstacle to your business growth.
But even realizing that your fear is an obstacle, is not the thing that will make you get rid of it. You, give your line of work, are probably aware of that. What I want you to do is convert your marketing work to joy. Because, whether we want it or not, marketing is an integral part of running a business. And it can become quite enjoyable if we focus on the right target, deliver a compelling message and create an ongoing conversation with our audience that can educate, inspire and compel them to want to work with us. And that is how you can conquer the biggest fear of marketing your private practice.